Did we just see UFC’s nastiest dislocation ever? (Updated)

UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Bueno Silva sees one of the nastiest dislocations ever.

By: Stephie Haynes | 3 months ago

UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Bueno Silva might not have looked like much on paper, and it’s no secret it was struggling to keep the attention of fans, but Viktoriya Dudakova vs. Istela Nunes helped change all that. Up until this contest, every fight on the card had gone to decision. The injury TKO Istela suffered was the kind of dislocation that can make some queasy, so if you are one of those people, steel yourself before proceeding.

A UFC fight with a nasty finish

The fight started off with both women throwing hard leather. Dudakova shoots for a single, gets Nunes down and the two begin rolling as Istela sought to escape. Amid the scramble, Nunes went to post up on her left arm. That’s when it buckled in a direction elbows are not meant to bend. Dana White’s video clip of the sequence tells the tale.

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin would provide an update to the story with the help of Nunes’ x-ray showing the injury (courtesy of Dana’s Instagram). On a scale of dislocations, this looks like a complete dislocation, but I’m no expert. We’ll have to let the physicians weigh in on this one. One thing that looks like a certainty is that it will be a while before we see Istela Nunes in a UFC fight.

What could be next

According to information from the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, if this is indeed a complete dislocation, or complex location as they’re also referred to, treatment can vary depending on the severity. If ligaments, nerves or vasculature has been damaged, surgical treatment is likely required. Nonsurgical treatment is generally indicated for partial of simple dislocations. Hopefully, Nunes experiences a full and speedy recovery.


Just a few hours after her fight-ending elbow dislocation, Istela Nunes provided an update to her injury. We’re happy her elbow is back where it should be.

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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